Support breastfeeding mothers rather than shame them

It is wrong to compare mothers who expose their breasts while breastfeeding to flashers (Baring the breast for whatever reason is wrong, by Ms Priscilla Poh Beng Hoon; March 24).

Unfortunately, there is a tendency to over-sexualise women's bodies. It is so embedded in our culture that we do not realise why covering up may be uncomfortable.

Women have the right to breastfeed anywhere and however they want.

It is a natural need and no mother should have to cover up just because some people object to it. Concerned parties can simply look away if it bothers them.

Some mums are extremely private people, while some have no issues doing what is necessary. Breastfeeding is uncomfortable, and in Singapore's hot climate, covering up makes things worse for the mother and the baby.

There is also the argument that a woman's breasts are private parts, and to have them exposed in public is indecent.

However, men walk around bare-chested as well, and nobody bats an eyelid.

Our society has a long way to go when it comes to respecting mothers. Let us support them instead of reinforcing a culture of shame and secrecy.

Francis Cheng

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 27, 2017, with the headline 'Support breastfeeding mothers rather than shame them'. Print Edition | Subscribe